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MA Program Alumni Profile and Spotlight: Wenyu Zhang

Wenyu interned at Superstar Investment Group in Chino, CA

Wenyu Zhang, MA '14
Beijing, China

“I interned at Superstar Investment Group, Inc., in Chino, California, a private company operating in miscellaneous inter-mediation industry." Founded in 2009, the company has multi-investment channels to generate profits for its clients, including investments in real estates, bonds and securities, etc.

I took this internship because I set my future career goal in the asset management area and this company was suitable for me to learn the investing industry and gain work experience.

My supervisor created a motivating list of tasks and assignments for me which included conducting a portfolio recommendation report customized to client specifications and addressing this portfolio recommendation to supervisors, conducting independent funds analysis, analyzing individual current bonds holdings, selecting bonds for sale recommendation, and providing a report to supervisors.

During this internship, I learned quite a lot. When first asked to select bonds out of a current bond list, my supervisor was out of town for a few days, which left me on my own to do the analysis. I tried to find a pattern of the last sale of bonds, but there was no obvious one to find. So I tried to come up with several plans: sell the most profitable bonds, sell the ones not performing well, etc.  It turned out that trying multiple ways when you don’t know the answer can help. When I showed my results to my supervisor, he preferred the plan that reduced volatility but didn’t generate any loss at the same time. He taught me that he would be reluctant to sell the current bonds at a loss because that would be bad for the financial statement and bonds will always pay in face value at maturity. Based upon that idea, the goal was to pursue a plan of less volatility rather than selling the ones which would only generate a profit.

The most difficult part of my internship was not conducting the research or preparing reports but, rather, how to present ideas to my supervisor. He always said the way he presented the portfolio to customers was essential; a good portfolio needs a good salesperson. I didn’t fully understand the idea when I first heard it. But when I needed to address this concept myself, I could see his point. I didn’t have the time to prepare a speech since I usually presented right after I finished a report. So the better way to do that was to generate a pattern. My supervisor taught me that designing a speech formula from the introduction to the ending was the best way to convey an idea more logically and that was easy to understand. This summer internship helped me a lot - it gave me a view of future work I will do, and how I can do it better.